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Shawn Edwards Joins Community Futures

Shawn Edwards 2023pic

Community Futures is pleased to introduce our newest addition to our team. Shawn is a Chartered Professional Accountant, CPA, CMA,  and a B.Sc. from UBC specializing in Earth and Environmental Sciences. Shawn has over 15 years of financial and business experience with a wide range of industry understanding (Finance, Manufacturing, Mining and Technology). He is well equipped to help Community Futures clients with strategic and development finance and business counseling. Shawn can be reached at phone: 250-868-2132 ext. 227  email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Welcome Shawn!


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Happipad Partners with Nova Scotia Government

Happipad and the province of Nova Scotia have announced an official partnership.

This program, officially announced on August 4 by Nova Scotia Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing John Lohr, ensures that the Happipad app is free to use for all Nova Scotians. 

What is Happipad?

Happipad is a federally incorporated nonprofit on a mission to create a safe, seamless, and enjoyable experience for individuals seeking to share homes. We firmly believe that fostering compatibility among housemates alleviates financial burdens. But it also plays a pivotal role in nurturing meaningful friendships and cultivating an inclusive society.

Happipad has created Canada’s first dedicated web platform to enable peer-to-peer creation and management of house sharing arrangements. Happipad provides users with a safe and convenient way to handle:

  • Rent payments
  • Safety deposits
  • Legal documentation
  • Background checks
  • Conflict resolution and support if needed

These features generally can’t be accessed for those looking for companion housing in the open market.

“The Hospitable nature of all Nova Scotians”

“We all have a role to play as we work together to overcome this housing crisis, and today’s announcement is a call to action to all Nova Scotians who may have extra space in their homes to consider hosting a person or family in their home,” said Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Lohr. “We know we have 130,000 vacant bedrooms in Nova Scotia, and through this expanded program more people like students, healthcare workers, tradespersons and any others who may need a safe, affordable and comfortable short-term accommodation could be matched with a room. This partnership truly encompasses the hospitable nature of all Nova Scotians.”

“NSCC is excited to learn of the province’s partnership with Happipad. The organization shares our commitment to providing safe and affordable housing and uses a platform I trust our students and community members will find accessible and helpful,” says Chauncey Kennedy, NSCC Manager, Housing and Student Life. “As our college has sites in communities across Nova Scotia, we look forward to working in partnership with Happipad to increase opportunities to address the urgent provincial housing needs.”

If you are interested in joining Happipad, you can check out what the process for joining Happipad looks like. And if you still have questions, you can always contact Happipad at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Dylan Vinci Joins Community Futures

Dylan pic cropped

Community Futures Development Corporation of the Central Okanagan is pleased to announce that Dylan Vinci has joined Community Futures as Program Coordinator. He will take the lead on the Self Employment Program including business plan development training and business counseling. Dylan is a recent Okanagan College Business Program graduate where he specialized in marketing. He has many years of hands on business management, digital marketing and promotions experience that will make him a valuable addition to Community Futures team.

Phone: 250-868-2132 ext. 224   Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Model Bean Coffee, local online coffee seller, opening first cafe in Rutland

- Castanet | Story: 436711

A Colombian couple who started their own coffee business during the pandemic has found enough success to finally open their first coffee shop in Rutland.

Camilo Isaza says they can’t wait to share with Kelowna their unique Colombian brew that’s imported from their family farm back home.

“There are so many varieties that we can showcase, and that’s kind of the whole purpose of having the tasting bar," said Isaza. "So for me to say which one is my favourite or which one is my top seller, I can’t really narrow that down because every coffee is sort of unique in a way and has its own rich profile."

Isaza says the cafe will give customers the chance to try their coffees—which they have already grown a following with by selling online—and take some home to "make that perfect cup of coffee every morning.”

Sticking to three traditional roasts, the owners of Model Bean Coffee tell Castanet they have grown from a home-run business that transitioned into the local market before now opening a retail cafe.

“We have our light-medium, our medium, and our medium-dark. We roast it locally and we kind of make our own little blend in house of those three to make our espresso as well," said Isaza.

"A lot of people say I buy your coffee but I go home to make it and it’s not the same. Well, it is the same. It’s just the patience and the passion behind how to make a coffee, so come on by, I’d love to teach you how to make the perfect cup of coffee.”

Isaza said their coffee is organic and locally roasted after being imported straight from the farm.

"It’s probably the freshest coffee you can find in western Canada. Not to brag, but it is that fresh," said Isaza.

If all goes according to plan, Model Bean Coffee is expecting to open July 15 at 205 Asher Road in Rutland.


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Historic agricultural magazine Orchard & Vine changes hands

Published on June 13, 2023 by David Wylie - Okanagan Journal 300w, 768w" alt="" decoding="async" loading="lazy" />Photo: David Wylie/OJ
Lisa Olson, left, has sold Orchard & Vine Magazine to Yvonne Turgeon.

In print since 1959, Orchard & Vine magazine has a new owner.

Yvonne Turgeon, who recently founded Thompson-Okanagan Trends Magazine, has acquired the longstanding agricultural trade magazine. She made the announcement at a news conference at the Laurel Packinghouse, which houses the Okanagan Wine and Orchard Museum.

“It’s a historic day and we’re in a historic place,” says Turgeon.

The museum houses Orchard & Vine’s archives. When it started in ’59, the magazine was called The BC Orchardist. The name changed in 2003 to include the wine industry. The publication now covers tree fruit, berry, grape, wine, cider and spirit industries across Canada.

Lisa Olson has published the magazine for 18 years. She says she’s happy that Turgeon has taken the reins.

“I really wanted the legacy to continue,” she says.

The deal was closed with the help of Community Futures Central Okanagan.

Cheryl Fast, a business advisor with the organization, says such publications help industry as a whole.

“It’s fundamental to the growth of other businesses,” she says.

The upcoming issue of Orchard & Vine will focus on innovation.

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OKGo - 6 Amazing Entrepreneurial Stories

We are happy to share the final long form video, showcasing these 6 amazing entrepreneurial stories and how connected the region is across industries, governments, and post-secondary institutions. Through their business stories, ambassadors highlight the economic impact of their respective sectors in the community, the region’s supportive business environment, and the economic prosperity of the Central Okanagan. View the stories OKGO - Industry Ambassadors - YouTube


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Virtual Reality Arcade Opens

Gaming is levelling up in Kelowna with Virtual Rcades, where old school arcade-style gaming meets the future through the use of modern VR technology and motion simulators.

Co-owners and brothers Kyle and Michael Markus grew up in Kelowna, and believe the city has long been missing a modern arcade.

“You don’t really see a lot of virtual reality mixed with motion simulators in North America, so we decided we would make an entire facility dedicated purely to not just giving you the visuals, but putting you on a physical ride," said Michael.

"So you don’t necessarily have to be a gamer to understand these things, you just hop on a ride, put on your headset and away you are off into your own world.”

The 3,500-square-foot facility has 32 different simulators with tons of different games to choose from, all of which make you feel like you’re right there in the moment.

"We’ve got at least 100 different visuals that you can be experiencing at any time," continued Michael.

"You could be on a race car racing with your friends, you could be on a jet plane like this one here racing in the sky, roller coasters, and yeah, pretty much anything you can imagine, you can come experience here at the arcade.”

The arcade comes with six different gaming categories, including racing, sports, flight, adventure, theme park and cinema.

The owners say is great for the kids, but also makes for quite the romantic night out.

“We realized there’s a great market for people looking to go out for a date night, and you know, not a lot of people have enough money to go across the world to fly over Egypt or fly over the Great Wall," added Michael.

"You and your partner can sit down on a hot air balloon and fly up in the air and experience the same ride at the same time … It’s not just for kids, it’s for everybody.”

Virtual Rcades at 1698 Findlay Road in Rutland is holding a grand opening weekend on Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, March 26. Entrance starts at $40.

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